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Turn Your Backyard Into a Science Lab

Backyard Science: Eco-Adventures for Kids Who Love to Learn!

Adventure, STEM Learning, Science, Backyard Science, Eco-Activities, NERD
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Welcome, Nerd Herd! Today, we’re embarking on a fantastic journey to turn your young ones into Eco-Explorers. Welcome to Backyard Science! It’s all about playing, discovering, and protecting our wonderful world. Do you remember the first time you felt the grass under your feet or watched the stars twinkle in the night sky? Let’s recreate those magical moments for our kids, with a twist of STEAM and a whole lot of fun. Designed for curious minds aged 7 to 12, these backyard science activities are your child’s ticket to becoming a hero for our planet.

5 Engaging Backyard Science Activities for Young Explorers

Wildlife Discovery Walks

Grab your boots! Organize a family hike in your local nature reserve or park. Use a simple app or a field guide to help kids learn the names and facts about the plants and animals they encounter. This hands-on exploration is perfect for nurturing an appreciation for biodiversity and the ecosystems around us.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Prepare Your Gear: Gather a notebook, pencils, and a pair of kid-friendly binoculars.
  • Spot and Sketch: As you walk through a local park or trail, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Encourage kids to sketch quick drawings of the animals and plants they see.
  • Discuss Discoveries: Back at home, research the plants and animals you found. This helps kids learn more about local biodiversity and the roles these species play in their habitats.

Bake Cookies with Sunbeams! (DIY Solar Oven)

Harness the power of the sun and teach your kids about renewable energy by building a solar oven! Using a pizza box, aluminum foil, and some plastic wrap, you can bake cookies or make s’mores while discussing the benefits and possibilities of solar energy. It’s delicious science, right in your backyard!

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Gather Materials: You’ll need a pizza box, black construction paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and tape.
  • Construct Your Oven: Line the bottom of the pizza box with black paper, cover the inside flap with aluminum foil, and seal the opening with plastic wrap.
  • Solar Baking: Place food items like cookies or nachos inside and let the sun do the cooking! Discuss with your kids how solar energy can be used in everyday life.

Meet the Stars without Leaving Your Backyard! (Stargazing Night)

What’s better than a night under the stars? Organize a stargazing evening with other families or a local astronomy club. Use telescopes or binoculars to spot constellations and planets. Apps can also provide interactive sky maps to help young astronomers navigate the cosmos.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Plan Your Party: Choose a clear night and find a dark spot in your garden or a local park.
  • Star Maps: Use an astronomy app to help locate and identify celestial bodies.
  • Night of Wonder: Bring snacks and blankets, and enjoy a night of storytelling and constellation spotting.

Turn Trash into Treasure! (Recycled Art Projects)

Turn trash into treasure by creating art from recyclable materials. Encourage your children to collect old magazines, bottle caps, and other household items to create their masterpieces. This activity not only sparks creativity but also instills a mindset of reusing and recycling from a young age.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Material Hunt: Start with a scavenger hunt for recyclable materials around your home.
  • Art Creation: Let kids unleash their creativity by constructing new art from old items. Maybe a plastic bottle becomes an alien spaceship, or cardboard boxes turn into a mini-city.
  • Exhibit and Explain: Have an art show at home to display the creations and discuss the importance of recycling and reusing materials.

Adventure Awaits in America’s Online Outdoors! (Virtual Tour of National Parks)

Explore the wonders of America’s National Parks from the comfort of your home. Many parks offer virtual tours, complete with educational resources. This virtual trip can be a springboard for planning future real-life visits and fosters an understanding of different environments and conservation efforts.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Choose Your Park: Select from various National Parks that offer virtual tours.
  • Interactive Tour: Navigate through the park’s website to explore different trails and landmarks virtually.
  • Reflect and Plan: After the tour, discuss what you learned and plan a future visit to a national park.

5 Backyard Science Product Recommendations to Enhance Outdoor Learning

  1. LET’S GO! Binocular for KidsDurable binoculars that can withstand drops and falls and perfect for little hands. They’re great for bird watching and wildlife spotting, making every nature walk an adventurous discovery mission.
  2. Fun Physics Science Experiment Kit – Convert wind, sunlight, and motion into electricity with zero pollution to the environment. This fun kit lets kids build and experiment with green energy.
  3. Solar Walk: Space Simulator 3D Download Solar Walk, an easy-to-use app that helps identify stars, constellations, and planets, enhancing any stargazing night with fascinating space facts. iOS or Google Play
  4. Miracle GRO My First Root ViewWatch Your Vegetables Gro! Plant US Sourced Seeds with Organic Soil pod so your root viewer planter to observe how their roots grow. Great Stem Kits for kids who likes science experiment and observation.
  5. 4M Weather Station KitThis multi-function weather kit contains a full set of basic tools to observe and record weather conditions around the home. The kit includes a functional wind vane, an anemometer, a thermometer, and a rain gauge for measuring local weather conditions. It’s perfect for budding weather buffs eager to track temperature changes, wind speed, and rain, linking everyday weather to larger climate science topics.

Wrap-Up: Your Planet Needs You!

There you have it—a playbook for raising an Eco-Explorer who’s ready to make a difference in the world. Remember, every small action adds up to big changes. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures in the great outdoors!

Join the Mission

Share your Eco-Explorer adventures with us using #EcoExplorerKids and get a chance to be featured in our monthly spotlight! What will you discover first in your backyard science lab?

Ready to explore the environment, one discovery at a time? Which activity will you try first? Let’s chat below!

Nerd On!


At Raising Nerd, we’re dedicated to bringing you the best of the STEM world—through content that educates, inspires, and entertains. To help support our mission and keep our platform thriving, we want to be transparent about our use of affiliate links in our articles.

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Thank you for your support and for being a part of our Nerd Herd. Together, we’re making STEM learning fun and accessible for everyone!

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